Thursday, November 11, 2021

Customising Clothes With Embroidery: 15 Fun Projects to Inspire You to Upcycle the Clothes You Already Own

Customising Clothes With Embroidery is a tutorial guide with patterns for updating and upcycling clothing with surface embroidery machine and hand sewn embellishments by Connie Mabbott. Due out 30th Nov from Pen & Sword on their White Owl imprint, it's 152 pages and will be available in paperback format.

It's nice to see embroidery and other fibrecrafts enjoying a renaissance of sorts. In times past, people would learn these skills as a matter of necessity, handed down from generation to generation in the family. That's no longer true, so crafters must turn to other sources of instruction. The internet (youtube, ravelry, and other social media channels are good sources of instruction, but for not-strictly-visual learners like me, books are still vital. I learn better if I have a book sitting in front of me and if I don't feel like I constantly have to pause the video to figure out what I'm doing. 

It's also very nice to see people being more aware of the destructive habits of fast fashion and disposable clothing. It's cool to be able to repair, enhance, and upcycle clothing into something beautiful and custom-made. This book is full of good tips for turning basic clothing into something unique and wonderful. 

The book has a logical and easy to follow layout. These projects utilise both machine (straight foot and free-hand) and hand surface embroidery. The tutorials are arranged in progressive difficulty from simple introductory designs to much more complex. The author does a good job of introducing and explaining techniques and equipment in accessible and understandable terms. Tools and supplies will be readily available in most areas. 

The tutorials are arranged thematically: basic embroidered lettering (3 introductory projects), free motion onto patches (to sew onto base items later), free motion directly onto items, and an advanced (and gorgeous) denim jacket project. All of the projects are easily customisable depending on readers' own needs and taste. Each tutorial includes a bullet list of materials in a sidebar, suggested skill level, step-by-step direction, and clear colour process photos of the project. 

Four stars. This would be a good selection for public or school library acquisition, home sewists, makers groups, or gift giving.  

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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